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Blues Guitar Turnarounds You Should Know

Are you tired of playing the same turnaround every time that 12-bar blues comes around again? Below are several turnaround variations in the key of E that will help you to add variety to your blues guitar playing.

These turnarounds are all from my YouTube video guitar lesson on my Guitar Lessons Vancouver channel. The tabs for each of the turnarounds are below.

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First, start with some basic turnarounds in open E:

Blues guitar turnaround tab type 1

In the video, I call these "Type 2," just so we can categorize the different styles. Note the pick direction is important since we are skipping the B string. It's easier to pick up on the high E string.

Blues guitar turnaround tab type 2

The following tabs show a variation of the above Type 2. In this case we use the same strings for the descending line, but we have different notes to the play on the high E.

Also, we have combinations of the descending line on the G and B strings.

Blues guitar turnaround tab type 3

There are many different rhythmic variations for blues turnarounds. Above you see the first variation that's in the guitar lesson video. And below is yet another variation.

Blues guitar turnaround tab type 5

Sometimes we don't want the turnaround to be too high pitch as it can interfere what something else that might be happening in the song, for example, some other instrument might be soloing over these bars, or a singer might be singing over the turnaround. In these cases, we also want to have available some lower-pitched variations. Above you will find one of these, and below is another.

Blues guitar turnaround tab walkup

Finally, we have one of my favourites, which is similar to one that Robert Johnson played. This also works really well as an intro to a blues song.

Blues guitar turnaround tab Robert Johnson

If you'd like to download a PDF of the tabs for all these turnarounds, you can download the chart using the link below.

Blues-Turnarounds -Tab
Download PDF • 60KB

Don't forget to subscribe to the GuitarLessonsVancouver YouTube Channel if you haven't already. Lots of great lessons to take your guitar playing from intermediate to pro.

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